Mid-Staffs nursing chief: I’m not to blame

Janice Harry tells hearing that the word 'nursing' in her job title was 'misleading'

The former director of nursing at the scandal-hit Stafford Hospital has told a disciplinary hearing that the word "nursing" in her job title was "misleading", as she blamed frontline staff for catastrophic care failings at the hospital.

Janice Harry, 60, distanced herself from problems at the Trust and said that she had not "front-line-managed" nurses.

"The misleading element of my job was the word 'nursing', she told a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) fitness to practise hearing. "People thought that I actually front-line-managed all the nurses in the trust, and I hope it's been demonstrated that this was done in a devolved process.

Ms Harry, who worked at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust between February 1998 and June 2006 and has since retired, is accused of failing to ensure enough skilled nurses were on duty, that wards were kept clean and patients were given enough food and water.

In one of the first full hearings into nurses from Stafford, she told the NMC panel that problems of short-staffing were never raised with her.

"When I was at the trust I recruited staff rather than lost staff," she said. "I had perhaps misplaced confidence in some of the senior staff on those wards, thinking they were doing things that perhaps they were not."

Ms Harry denies any misconduct.

Meanwhile, fellow Stafford Hospital staff Sharon Turner and Tracy White were both found to have inaccurately recorded patient waiting in A&E wards.

The hearing was told that Ms Turner had ordered a staff nurse to tell another to "lie about" breaches of four-hour waiting times targets.

Between December 2003 and October 2009, when Ms Turner worked at the trust, she spoke about patients and staff in an "inappropriate manner" the panel ruled.

She was found to have racially abused Asian junior doctors, reportedly referring to them as "suicide bombers". The panel found that she said patients "can f****** wait" and that "they want to get real".

In the case of A&E nurse Ms White, who is still employed by the trust as a clinical site manager, the panel ruled that she had changed patient records so that it would appear that the department was meeting waiting time targets.

Both nurses were also found to have transferred patients to other wards with "soiled sheets". Both nurses deny the allegations against them.

Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust was at the centre of a public inquiry after it was found that poor care could have led to the deaths of hundreds of patients as a result of maltreatment and neglect.

The inquiry highlighted the "appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people" at the trust.

The hearings continue.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Liverpool - up to £28,000

    £22000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: This is a large multi-site operation...

    Recruitment Genius: Account Executive

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a lead...

    Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

    £35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

    Recruitment Genius: B2B Telesales Executive - £32,000 OTE

    £14000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss